The Ottawa Public Library plans to reopen branches in “waves” starting in July for “contactless services” as the COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed.
Plans to reopen five-to-six branches at a time between July and September are contained in a report for the Ottawa Public Library Board.
On June 15, six library branches reopened for curbside pickup and drop-off of items. The library branches are Main, Beaverbrook, Cumberland, Greenboro, Main, Nepean Centrepointe and Ruth E. Dickinson.
When the Ontario Government allowed Ottawa to move into Stage 2, the Ottawa Public Library launched contactless returns and holds pick-up, and a limited number of customers were allowed to enter library buildings to pick up their holds and use the checkout machines.
The report says as of July 6, customers will be able to access hold shelves in the six branches, picking up and checking out their holds in the same manner that they would have done pre-COVID.
The Ottawa Public Library is now looking at waves to re-open the remaining branches five to six at a time between July and September. Staff say the locations were prioritized “based on safety, geography, equity (low-income markers and the digital divide), and accessibility, and considering customer feedback.”
Here are the proposed dates for reopening branches during the waves
July 13: Carlingwood, Carp, Greely, North Gloucester, St. Laurent, Stittsville
July 27: Alta Vista, Blackburn Hamlet, Centennial, Elmvale Acres, Emerald Plaza
August 10: Sunnyside, Hazeldean, Manotick, Orleans, Richmond, Rideau, Vanier
TBD: Constance Bay, Fitzroy Harbour, Metcalfe Village, Munster, North Gower, Osgoode, Rockcliffe Park, Rosemount, Vernon, Kiosk, Bookmobile
The Ottawa Public Library’s “Re-Opening Priority 3” includes reopening branches for contactless services, and releasing new materials into the collection.
Loan periods are being extended to four weeks, one week longer than the normal three-week period.
The report says there is no date for the launch of “expanded in-branch services”, which would include in-person browsing, borrowing special collections and access to pay fees in person.